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Economy

Regional power link bid faces funds hitch

A Kenya Power technician inspects a line. file PHOTO | NMG
A Kenya Power technician inspects a line. file PHOTO | NMG 

The commissioning of the Sh120 billion power lines connecting Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya national grids risk being delayed as Lusaka and Dar es Salaam run late in securing funding for the mega projects.

The three countries were to build 2,302 kilometres of 400 kilovolt (kV) power lines and 373 km of 330 kV power lines before the end of next year, with each country responsible for the lines in its jurisdiction.

The Kenyan section is fully financed and the project is on course but Zambia and Tanzania require Sh16.4 billion ($160) million and Sh43.7 billion ($425) respectively for their sections.

The World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have expressed interest in financing the Zambian sections while Tanzania is in discussion with the World Bank and the French Development Bank (AFD).

“The Kenya section is fully financed and already under construction. Zambia’s requires $160 million for the uncommitted parts and is already in advanced discussions with some financiers for its remaining sections,” reads a statement from a committee made up of three countries. 

Linking up national grids would provide a bigger pool of resources and mean one state can tap idle supplies in another.

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